I recently bought a second-hand Vaio VGN-TX5XN laptop from which the original hard drive had been removed. I have several other identical models which have served me well and whose components I have freely swapped around. On first acquiring the latest TX5XN, I put in a hard drive from another machine, which had been running Windows 7. It worked perfectly, after a brief pause to install the driver for the optical drive, which was apparently a different make from the original. Having ascertained everything was OK with the latest machine, I went ahead and bought a new hard drive for it. The form is 1.8", 4200rpm with a LIF connector.

Since I need very little storage space, I bought the 80GB model, MK8009GAH, instead of the usual 100GB, MK1011GAH, to save £20. Alas, I cannot get it to accept any operating system installation!

Although the drive is new, and is recognised in the BIOS, which notes its capacity and model number, and can be formatted and partitioned using FDISK (or at least it says that it has been), Windows 7 and XP say that the drive is not usable because "the disk controller needs to be enabled in BIOS". However, the BIOS, accessed in this case using the F2 key at booting, is extremely basic and allows of no such adjustment that I can see. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the BIOS is unalterably fixed to accept only the 100GB hard drive and that I have wasted the money on the smaller drive.

Can anybody shed light on this?

Thank you for your trouble!

6 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Rik_

I have fitted different sized drives in Vaio's a few times without issues. Perhaps you need to set it to default or maybe even do a bios update on it. Have a look on the Sony website for more information about it's bios!



Thanks very much for the reply. Your first sentence gave me confidence just to check for other problems. Using the "Ultimate Boot CD" I did a diagnostic check on the hard drive and the result came back: "bad cable". I guessed this simply meant that the LIF connection was not properly seated, and so it proved to be. Once I had pushed the cable in a little more firmly, everything went smoothly and Windows 7 is now fully installed. It seems that Windows error diagnostics should not be quite so specific: read/write errors from the hard drive seems insufficient evidence for their suggestion that one should "enable the drive controller in BIOS".

I find the LIF connection a bit problematic as the cable only seems to go in about 1mm and is not really fixed at all; but this is the first real problem I have had.

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